DPH Employees Raise Their Voice for Georgia’s Public Health Nurses

December 2, 2015

A team of public health nurses convened at the State Capitol last month to raise their voices at a hearing hosted by Georgia’s Human Development and Public Health Sub-Committee led by Senator Renee Unterman.

The hearing examined the challenges the state’s public health nursing workforce faces, such as salary parity with the private sector, recruitment, retention and attrition.

Together, nine public health nurses – Carole Jakeway, chief nurse for the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), and eight others from various public health districts – provided testimony on what public health nursing looks like across the state and ways in which the legislature could help ensure Georgians receive the best public health services possible.

Each nurse discussed their specific role and how their teams prevent disease, injury and disability; protect the health and well-being of Georgia’s population; and plan for and respond to disasters.

With an eye for improvement, the committee spoke with each nurse to gain a better understanding of what resources are needed to help DPH foster a well-balanced nursing workforce, continue providing superior patient-centered care to Georgians and further strengthen the state’s health care delivery system.

“Georgia’s public health nurses serve on the front lines of the state’s health care system and exemplify dedication, expertise and compassion at work every day,” Jakeway said. “We appreciated the opportunity to share our successes, challenges and needs with the state legislature to ensure we have a strong, sustainable public health nursing workforce to protect the health and well-being of Georgians for many generations to come.”

DPH would like to thank the following staff members for representing Georgia’s public health nurses:

Carole Jakeway, MPH, RN
Chief Nurse
Georgia Department of Public Health

Christi Dixon, RN
County Nurse Manager, Mitchell County
Southwest Health District

David Donalson, BSN, RN
District Registered Nurse Specialist, Infectious Disease
North Georgia Health District

Beverly McCray, RN, MSN, FNP-BC
Nurse Practitioner, Newton County
East Metro Health District

Vanessa M. Ramirez, RN, BSN
System Administrator, Evans County Health Department
Southeast Health District

Allen Rowland, MSN, APRN, FNP, BC
Office of Women’s Health
Southeast Health District

Kelly Knight, RN, BSN, FNP, APRN
Director of Nursing & Clinical Services
South Central Health District

Nichole Crick, RN, BSN
District Program Manager
Northwest Health District

Elsie C. Napier MSN, APRN, BC
Family Nurse Practitioner
Hypertension and Diabetes Services
South Health District


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